Renee (Nay Nay) Potaracke works in the Marine Credit Union (MCU) Call Center. “We are the ‘Marines’ of MCU,” Nay Nay said. “We are the front line. We handle every kind of question you can imagine.”
After her husband Mark passed away, Nay Nay shared that she felt she needed a change after 21 years working as a factory supervisor. She said she didn’t know much about MCU and the organization’s mission until the interview process. “They explained what they do to help the underserved,” she said. “I like what we stand for. I like helping people.”
Nay Nay shared she enjoyed a previous job working as a manager for a check advance company, helping people get loans they couldn’t get elsewhere. “I would work with them and grew a good customer base,” she shared. She said she helped them to understand the loans where for emergencies not to pay their monthly bills. She enjoyed being able to help her customers try to get ahead. “I tried to educate them,” she added. “I tried to help them.”
Nay Nay has been at MCU for a little over four years. “It’s good,” she said adding that sometimes it does get “a little crazy.”
“I try to take charge of calls,” Nay Nay said. “I take ownership and try to make (members) feel at ease.” She said that because of her personal experiences, such as losing her husband five years ago. She tries to put herself in their shoes. “Time is precious,” she added.
Nay Nay said she asks herself, “What would I want if it was me,” when talking to members. “I’m a consumer too. I pay utility bills. I put myself where they are. I have a lot of patience.”
Nay Nay shared a story of working with a 96-year-old member, educating her in navigating online banking. “We got there,” she said. “It took about one-and-a-half hours, but we got there.” She said that it’s all worth it when members thank her for her patience and kindness.
Nay Nay grew up and went to high school in Westby, Wisconsin. Mentioning her dad was in the Air Force and her brother and husband were both in the Army, Nay Nay said she wishes she would have gone into the military after high school so she could have traveled sooner. She said her husband Mark didn’t like to travel (unless he was on his Harley), but she is making up for lost travel time now.
“Give me a day off and I’m going. I get in my car and go,” she said and added that she has put almost 60,000 miles on her new 2020 car. New Orleans, Canada, Michigan, Haiti, Belize, Cozumel … once even traveling to nine states in four days. Alone or with traveling buddies, “It’s therapy,” she said. “I listen to the music. I take whoever wants to go.”
Where to next? “Atlantic City,” Nay Nay shared is on her list as is a trip to Australia with her 36 -year-old wheelchair bound nephew.
“I like to travel. I like to talk,” Nay Nay said. “I talk to everybody. I’m a social butterfly. I don’t worry about anything. I live in the moment.”
She said she likes to visit creameries and museums. Nay Nay has been to the John Wayne Museum, a root beer museum and even the Spam Museum and shares her adventures on social media. “There is nothing holding you back. Life is too short,” she said. “Go enjoy it.”
When not traveling, Nay Nay said she enjoys the “20-foot commute” working remotely from home since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, and has “good company” with Coconut, a friend’s cat she has been caring for the past several months.
Nay Nay said she is in good company with the team at MCU as well. “If I didn’t have the friendly people I work with,” she said, “I couldn’t do my job. It takes a village. Without everyone there, it wouldn’t work. If there is an opening, you gotta’ come here and work. You’re going to love it,” she added.
Where does Nay Nay get her passion, patience, and kindness from? “I blame my parents,” she said with a smile. “They were work oriented and compassionate. They taught me to see everything through to the end. We were true American kids growing up in the country. They did a fantastic job.”